Support Local Journalism


Subscribe


The state unveiled a COVID-19 vaccine distribution dashboard Monday that tracks each county’s immunization progress.

The new dashboard, available on the state Department of Public Health and Human Services website, includes information on the total number of doses administered in Montana and the number of people who have received doses in each county. The state-level data will be updated daily, while county-level data will be updated each Monday.

As of Monday, 77,739 doses had been administered and 14,704 Montanans — or about 1% of the state’s population — were fully vaccinated.

“There’s much work ahead, but the new map shows the progress that has been made administering the vaccine to local communities statewide,” said DPHHS Acting Director Erica Johnston in a news release.

In Gallatin County, 6,230 doses have been given with 1,546 residents fully immunized, according to the state dashboard. Park County has administered 1,278 doses with 222 residents having received both required doses. Madison County has distributed 395 doses with 31 residents completely vaccinated.

The data on the dashboard comes from imMTrax, a program that Montana health care providers use to report immunization information electronically to the state, said DPHHS spokesperson Jon Ebelt.

The use of a centralized program means that “local, state and federal numbers will be consistent,” Ebelt said, but “as information is transferred from the state to federal systems, there may be a delay in reported numbers.”

The Gallatin City-County Health Department may also start providing local vaccination data, said Bozeman Deputy Fire Chief Mike Maltaverne, who is the incident commander for local vaccine distribution.

“Our team needs some time to analyze the state’s new dashboard and figure out, what, if any, gaps we need to fill with local data,” he said.

When it comes to other COVID-19 data, there have been differences between state and local reporting, due in part to reporting delays, that have caused confusion.

Because of these discrepancies, Maltaverne said, “We want to ensure that we are providing the most timely, understandable and transparent information to our community about COVID-19 vaccines so as not to add any further confusion.”

Montana is among the top 15 states for dose administration per 100,000 residents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

State and local officials have said the limited vaccine supply has hampered their ability to vaccinate more Montanans.

“We can make even greater progress if the federal government increases our supply,” Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte said in a news release.

On Friday, Gianforte said the federal government would likely provide Montana 13,500 doses, along with the required second doses, each week. The state distributes the vaccine to counties largely based on population.

In December and early January, counties focused on vaccinating frontline health care workers, first responders and residents of long-term care facilities, which is labeled Group 1A.

Last week, some counties were able to also begin offering vaccines to adults over 70, people 16-69 with specific underlying health conditions and Native Americans and other people of color, known as Group 1B.

Gallatin County will finish vaccinating frontline health care workers this week and will also start immunizing adults over 80, Native Americans and other people of color.

Residents can now sign up to receive updates from the health department via text message or email on who is eligible to receive a vaccine and how they can sign up to receive it.

In Madison County, the two hospitals, Madison Valley Medical Center and Ruby Valley Medical Center, are still focused on reaching frontline health care workers, said county spokesperson Bonnie O’Neill. The hospitals are also taking down contact information for residents in Group 1B and will contact them as doses become available.

In a video posted Friday, Park City-County Health Officer Dr. Laurel Desnick said the health department would begin vaccinating those over 80 this week. The health department has been working with local organizations, volunteer groups and churches to identify these people and is contacting them to schedule appointments.

Those over 80 in Park County are encouraged to call the health department to get on the vaccination list.

Park County has also launched a notification system that residents can sign up for on the health department website and that will provide more information on vaccine distribution.

Desnick urged patience with the vaccine rollout, saying with the existing supply, it could take a long time for the 6,000 Park County residents in Group 1B to be immunized.

“Everyone’s turn will come,” she said. “In the meantime, we need to continue with what we know works: masks and distancing.”

Support Local Journalism

To see what else is happening in Gallatin County subscribe to the online paper.

Perrin Stein can be reached at pstein@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2648.